Introduction / History
Rongmei, like other Nagas were head hunters. When a young man turns 17 or 18, he is considered a warrior. In order to prove his worth as a warrior, he has to collect the head of an enemy from another village. One village is one kingdom for Nagas even if they are from the same community. It was prohibited to take the head from someone from the same village. They are believed to have come from Mongolia through China and then into South Asia. For this reason they have Mongoloid features.
Where are they located?
They are spread out in 3 states of India: Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
What are their lives like?
They mostly live in villages in small pockets. Most live in the hills. Their houses are mostly made with a thatch roof and wooden pole. Rice is the main staple diet for them. They hunt for and gather other food sources. Since the forest receives heavy rainfall, edible leaves of all kinds are abundant. These wild vegetables are healthy and organic, so they stay healthy.
What are their beliefs?
Their religion is unknown, but they believe that God is a spirit. They do not worship idols. For them, God lives in heaven and we are to sacrifice blood for remission of sin. But in many villages, after the freedom movement from the British government they embraced the "Babuan" religion. This religion was started by the Rongmei freedom fighters Rani Gaidinliu and Heipou Jadonang. The Rongmei living in Assam state and Manipur state still practice this religion. They have a small hill in the Cachar district of the state of Assam, where they go to sacrifice to their deity. This mountain name is called "Babuan Ching" which means "Babuan Mountain."
What are their needs?
This people needs to know more about the teaching of Jesus. They think that Christianity is a western religion and therefore they should not follow it. There is a need for more missionaries who would spend time teaching, living with them and testifying of the living God. Miracles and healings can be key in showing God's power. Providing for physical needs is also necessary since there is much lack.
Text source: Dee-Zane Pamei